The Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting began in the spring of 2009 as the BBC (Better Bicycle Commuting.)
During the first summer we organized a meeting, managed to find some very supportive news media, and got some stories in the newspaper and on television and radio. That fall we organized our first annual Bike Ride. Approximately 120 riders showed up to support the cause. This truly brought the issue to a head.
During that winter we continued to have contact with City Council and eventually in the spring of 2010 we were able to arrange a meeting with Council to explain what we wanted and why. City Council had a very favorable view of the idea as it dovetailed well into their overall concept of making Red Deer a more pedestrian and cycling friendly community.
It was not until 2011 that we saw our first bike lanes. They were in odd places and there was no connectivity, but they were a start. Despite being controversial among cyclists, they raised no great concerns with the motoring community.
In 2012, the City ambitiously painted bike lanes throughout many of the major corridors in Red Deer. Most cyclists were thrilled, but not so the general public. City Council found itself backtracking quickly. Bike lanes along 40th Ave and 55th St. were immediately taken out. With a civic election coming up, bike lanes became a major election issue.
The need now is for cyclists to use the bike lanes and be a part of our group to encourage better riding and a more positive reputation for cyclists throughout the city.